Episode 13: Karen Felice, RMT

Karen Felice is a renowned Reiki Master Teacher in the Usui and Karuna traditions. She’s no stranger to the demands of a busy work-life, with a background as a TV news producer and editor. Having made a career shift in 2011 with her training school and Reiki practice, Reconnect to Wellness, she now keeps a space in West Hollywood, CA, and is a published author. Her first book, Compassion Speaks, offers a modern approach to self-care through messages of compassion for self and for others. As a healing modality, Reiki can be incredibly supportive of various health treatments, both physical and mental. In addition, Karen’s understanding of compassion – a central theme of our conversations on the podcast – made her the perfect guest to talk about self-care in a world where busy-ness is often rewarded, and invisible conditions go so long unnoticed and unacknowledged.

Key links mentioned in this episode

Karen Felice RMT

@kfelice – Home of Free Reiki Monday

Compassion Speaks

@compassionspeaksofficial

Reconnect to Wellness

Plants growing healthfully with positive affirmation

Meditation – Deepak Chopra

Listen in as Karen shares…

  • the origins of Reiki and what it is: a collectively balanced approach to energy healing
  • that Reiki does not interfere with western medicine or with religious beliefs; it is non-invasive and operates along energy frequencies
  • that it helps to begin one’s Reiki experience with an intention: what energies we want to clear, and what we want to replace those energies with
  • her key points of clarity: that there is enough goodness to go around for everyone, and that compassion is essential
  • that Reiki enables clients to decompress and reconnect to wholeness and wellness (hence the name of Karen’s practice!)
  • that she has worked with patients in hospice and in oncology wards, and has clients who have invisible illneses such as EBV
  • that the soul is in the heart chakra, and that’s where she sees people’s true selves
  • that her work is in aligning chakras and sharing love
  • that even Cedars-Sinai has a Reiki master on staff
  • that colors correspond to the chakras, and they hold a vibrational resonance
  • that she feels where energy is flowing and where it is not flowing; but that a lack of flow doesn’t mean a block – it actually means the body is trying to heal along with the mind
  • that so much of energy flow in Reiki is about a removal of judgment, which is replaced with compassion
  • that she is intuitive in session, and shares the messages she receives
  • that so much of her work is about the restoration of the mind-body connection
  • that she most commonly sees patients suffering from anxiety – which is ultimately a desire for clarity
  • that she helps patients shift the narratives that may be harming them emotionally
  • that it’s a practice to remain centered when we are surrounded by chaos; as energetic beings, we need to develop a filter
  • how her book, “Compassion Speaks”, is a great meditation companion; it can serve as a wonderful reset
  • that Deepak Chopra was her meditation teacher, and he told her: “Turn off the news. Start telling a better story.”
  • “Compassion dispels fear.”
  • that she also recommends meditation as a healing modality; she’s been doing it (with a mantra) every day for 11 years
  • Deepak Chopra’s teaching that 30 minutes of meditation is equal to 8 hours of rest and sleep
  • the importance of eating clean and cooking with intent to receive nourishment
  • the importance of gratitude
  • how to shift thought patterns to mine for joy and become present in a new vibration
  • that negativity attracts negativity, and to shift this energy Karen goes to her heart and seeks the opposite…in what she calls “The Opposite Game”
  • that a diagnosis is a compass; it is not final
  • that she encourages people to be kind to themselves, especially if they’re facing invisible illness; and to get complete checks through their doctors
  • that Karen’s dog, Shayna, joins patients in session and is a great support

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Karen Felice RMT

Lauren: All right everyone, thanks for joining us today! I’m here with Karen Felice, who is a Reiki Master Teacher and a practitioner based in Los Angeles. Karen, thanks for joining us.

Karen: I’m so delighted to be here! Thank you!

Lauren: It’s wonderful to have you! We’re going to start with real basics today. Can you tell us:  What is Reiki? And just give us some background on the practice and its origins?

Karen: So Reiki is a hands-on healing modality. Its origins in recent times trace back to Dr. Usui, and he is my teacher’s lineage. So I trace my teachings back to Dr. Usui, who lived in Japan in the late 1800s and he passed away in 1926. So it’s very, very recent. He was a doctor, but he wanted to know the form of healing that Buddha and Christ did that incorporates the soul. And at that time he was studying with Buddhist monks near Kyoto, and they took care of the soul and the mind, but they left the body for the doctors. But Dr. Usui wanted it all integrated.

Lauren: So he was the first integrative health practitioner, really!

Karen: Right! He was way ahead of his time! He learned other languages; he learned Chinese, he learned Sanskrit, he learned Tibetan – looking for these missing texts, the missing documented years of Christ. So finally he found something that mentioned the rei qi, which is a higher consciousness of healing that comes through the Brotherhood of Light, So when I’m practicing Reiki, I see it only as golden white light that comes through me. And I can get into that a little bit later.

But it can only be done for the highest good, and the harm of none. So there’s nothing transferred. It’s only for well being and balance.

So that’s the origins in the late 1800s.

Lauren: For the particular lineage that you were trained in.

Karen: Correct.

Lauren:  And how long have you been working as a Reiki Master Teacher?

Karen: Well, I became a Reiki Master Teacher in 1998.

Lauren: So you’re an expert, needless to say!

Karen: Well yes, I am a Master, and that’s almost like the difference between an artist and an artisan … the hours and the practice put into the refinement of doing the practice. I learn every day, still, doing it. But it took me a good 14 years of knowing this technique and stepping out of my mind and saying, ‘I can make a living, I can make a difference.’ And so I started my own practice as a business in 2011. And I teach, and I’d say in the last three years, I’ve trained over 200 students, and each has their own uniqueness. I have a student that works with horses, and then another student that works with children. So it’s really beautiful, and some people just jump right into teaching, and some people only want to go to a basic level.

It really complements any lifestyle, any religious thinking. Also any healing path that people are on. This does not interfere with Western medicine, which is an important aspect for your listeners to relax into.

Lauren: My understanding of Reiki — before I came to it as a client, as a patient — was that it was like an energy healing. So it’s really about shifting energies for people, isn’t it? And being able to find healing within that shift.

Karen: Well, I feel we’re all energy, all of us. And it’s measurable. Our heat index is 98.7 degrees. I mean, there are measurable ways in science that indicate that there are frequencies. So Reiki — in Japanese, rei means universal and ki is the qi or the prana that we all have. So this is a collectively balanced approach to the energy. Now, I have Japanese friends who tell me that Reiki means ‘healer’. So when they want to go to a healer, they go to someone who practices Reiki.

Lauren: That’s lovely. And how does it look when someone first comes to you? Where do you begin as a practitioner? For someone who’s never experienced Reiki before, what would a first session look like?

Karen: Well, it’s really lovely because I know people who come here are curious, but they’re also ready. There’s something in them that’s encouraged them to show up.

And this work … it’s not even work, it’s really joy … it’s deep, but it’s gentle. So it has created a safe container here for people to look at emotional stress, or mental stress, and physical discomfort and all of that energy plays into our wellness or taxes our immune system. So when people come here, I do encourage them to have an intention of what they want to let go of. And also what they want to replace that with, and receive.

Lauren: That’s really beautiful. Now how often do you recommend first-time Reiki clients see their Master for healing treatment? And how long do you expect treatments to go on with people? Is it different for every client?

Karen: Yes, it is different. It is very organic. You and I could do Reiki every day and it would be very special. It would be unique to that moment, to that segment we’re experiencing. I’ve seen some clients now for seven or more years, and some I see once. I treat each time as, that’s all I have. Because, really, in reality, we don’t know what 30 minutes from now will be. So it’s very, very present. Sometimes I do have people who want to come one time. And they get a lot … and maybe they don’t. There’s enough to go around, and if I’m not the right fit or vice versa, it’s beautiful. But I really love my clients. I stay in touch with my students. I’m still in touch with my Master Teacher.

There’s a continuation of connection.

So it depends. I’ve had clients that come with specific requests; they’re working through deep stuff and want to be here twice a week for five months. So it’s up to the client to really share with their schedule. I have a client who does have Epstein-Barr, and this client comes once a week, now for over four years. And it’s the one time a week to decompress and reconnect to wholeness.

Lauren: You mentioned that you have a client who has Epstein-Barr. Do you often work with survivors of invisible illness? Do you find that to be quite common? And how is your experience with people who might be living with invisible illness different from your “healthy person”? Someone who presents as healthy. I know that you also have worked with oncology patients and in hospice as well, right?

Karen: Correct. So it’s a whole range.

Discomfort is discomfort, whether it’s visible to other people, or whether it’s only internal. It’s a discomfort, and my approach is to honor the soul and honor the soul’s journey. It’s not my duty to clean karma. I don’t absorb other people’s illnesses to transform it. I’m encouraging the remembrance that we are creative and co-creators of our lives.

I know I went a little deep there…sorry about that!

Lauren: Never apologize!

Karen: So that being said, in recognition of the soul … and I feel personally, and we’ll talk about chakras in a little bit … that the soul is in the heart chakra and that’s where I see people’s authentic self and their intuition. So in a session, I love everything in alignment to the soul and to the heart chakra.

So when someone is in complete distress — and, like you said, I have been in hospice where they’re on life support — I take the time to say, soul-to-soul, “I recognize you; I hold unconditional love for you — whatever your soul needs, I honor it.” It’s not, “Hey, get better because your family’s crying,” or, “ Hey, you’re cuckoo, you’re imagining it, you’re a hypochondriac.” That is not the approach. I approach from wholeness from within and see it throughout.

Lauren: And it’s special training, as well, to become certified as a Reiki Master in those situations — in hospice and in oncology wards?

Karen: I know that the hospitals have certain certifications that they need, which, of course, includes liability insurance. Because with Reiki, there’s not a state governing board as massage therapy has. I have reached out to Cedars, and and they have their own chaplain department, their spiritual studies or that area … they do have a Reiki Master Teacher and I couldn’t find out that person’s lineage. I was curious. But they do offer it.

Lauren: That’s amazing, because this is one of the leading hospitals in the country, to have a Reiki Master Teacher on staff.

Karen: Yes, it’s wonderful, and I think Children’s Hospital, and City of Hope as well … that they’re open to it. As far as the oncology certification, I did a separate course with another Master Teacher. And that was beautiful because she comes from a different lineage. And there are different lineages of Reiki. So I honor that that’s their path. But for me, it is the Usui tradition.

What I got from it is, she taught us how to not interfere with Western medicine, and really hold the vibration that in certain areas of the body, especially the brain, that the brain stays and remains healthy. Every cell being born is healthy — perfect red cells, perfect white cells.

So there were guided meditations that really helped, that I hold space for. And I had a client — who is still, thank goodness, with us — and this client would see me every month after chemo, for a year. And that person knows Reiki as well, and and practiced morning and night on the self.

And Reiki is one of the only modalities [with which] you can self-heal, and it’s beautiful.

So that was really powerful, too, because we came up with some positive affirmations that could be reviewed while at the hospital and receiving the chemo. To read through this list of ‘I’m creating perfect red cells; I’m creating perfect white cells.’

Lauren: So it sounds like it’s really addressing that mind-body connection.

Karen:It is the mind, and hugely removing judgment. Like, ‘How did I get here?’ Or, ‘Am I being punished?’ ‘What is this … and no one can figure it out … and what is my distress?’

Instead, centering in the heart and saying, ‘Wow! I’m whole!’ With that little bit of a breath, people can create a whole new response.

Lauren: It’s amazing what that kind of shift can do, isn’t it?

Karen: Right.

Lauren: You mentioned chakras earlier. Do you want to talk a little bit more about them?

Karen: Sure. So, I think people have seen a picture of a person meditating and they have the seven colored chakras going through from the crown of the top of the head, where the soft spot is as a baby … all the way through to the perineum area. There are seven major centers.

Chakra is Sanskrit for ‘wheel’ and the energy centers correlate to physiological places in the body, but they also have emotional triggers and mental stimulus. And it’s interesting because from these seven chakras, all the sub-chakras, or meridians in Chinese medicine, come to meet at those same points.

chakra-1063278_1280

Lauren: So it’s the same as what’s used in acupuncture, for example.

Karen: Yes. So even though they call them meridians, in some schools they call them sub-chakras of the lines that attach to these places. And they have colors associated because again, it’s a frequency. And it’s really cool to me because I can look at people and by whatever color they’re wearing, I know they’re deeply, innately, allowing healing for that area within their body.

Lauren: Isn’t that interesting? It’s funny because I’ve found that sometimes I’m wearing all one color on a certain day, and will go, ‘Oh, look, I’m wearing all-blue!’ And that’s your throat chakra, isn’t it?

Karen: Yes, that is the throat chakra. And what’s really cool … we’ve all experienced it … we put on a color one day and think, ‘Oh, yes!’ And then that same shirt, we’ll put it on another day and say, ‘Ooh, I don’t want to wear it.’ It’s because it’s a vibrational resonance of love and support for those areas.

Lauren: I love that.  And I know that there are things like color therapy, and so many modalities that are sort of offshoots.

Karen: It’s so fascinating because I look at this, especially with politicians and the color ties that they’re wearing. Now, people think red is a power color… but in terms of chakra, it’s root chakra, and it’s basic survival. Roof over the head, food on the table. So they’re trying to survive. Whereas someone who’s wearing blue would be really wanting to speak their truth. The Throat Chakra. Someone who’s wearing green is really speaking from the heart, and someone wearing purple is third-eye; purple is from a higher vision. I see this, and I don’t know how many other healers see it … and I think it’d be really cool to help stylists with that. Because not only does it have to look good on camera and stuff, but there’s also an energetic intention with it.

Lauren: Yes, not only an energetic intention but what people are perceiving … whether or not they’re aware of what the chakras represent. Like, what those colors are making people feel. I know that there’s got to be research out there that suggests that certain colors make people feel a certain way. Polling data!

Karen: Yes! It’s really interesting though … I want to share with you, I was trained that there are three chakras that work together. First being the third-eye; that’s where the Indians wear the bindi. The third-eye chakra is higher vision; it’s the big picture. And then people that have discomfort there, like sinus headache or headaches, they can see the big picture but either they don’t know what to do with it or they don’t know how to communicate it. So it’s kind of stuck there. And then the third-eye works with the throat chakra — which is the neck, shoulders and jaw/ears. This is how you put into words, your visions. And it’s also your silences, it’s your pauses. So it’s a balance of communication. It’s also: Do you feel heard? Are you hearing yourself? People have lots of tension in their shoulders. So I always know that it has to do with communication. And then the third chakra that works with the other two is the solar plexus, which is right above the belly button, and that’s associated with the color yellow. And the way I was trained is, that that has to do with anything to do with the verb “to do”. So when you don’t like what you’re doing, or you don’t know what to do for the tummy discomfort … It’s really that simple. This is how I see a landscape of a body. I’m not totally into anatomy; I like to feel.

Lauren: It’s more kinesthetic.

Karen: It’s kinesthetic, and I feel where energy is flowing and not flowing.

And when [energy]’s not flowing, to me that means that area of the body is repairing itself. It doesn’t mean there’s blocks.

I have a lot of people who come to me and say, “I have blocked chakras.” I know that’s a term that’s thrown out a lot. I don’t see that. The more I’ve been shown in sessions, and I do have a pretty busy practice — I’m doing Reiki every day — that’s what it means … those areas of the body are trying to heal.

Lauren: That’s a really lovely way of looking at it. And a productive way of looking at it.

Karen: It is.

Lauren: In a really non-judgmental way as well. Which is so much about what you do. 

Karen: Because people just choose fear when they hear a diagnosis. Now, legally, I can’t prescribe, and I don’t. If someone wants to pursue MRIs and allopathic means, I encourage … you rule it out. But I actually get really intuitive in session and I share a lot of the messages that I feel in a session. And sometimes it could be as simple as telling somebody, “Oh, you need to eat more carrots.” But take it with a grain of salt … or carrots with the salt! (laughs) But you guys do the research. You may not even like carrots. But something in your body is craving vitamin A. I’ll even say, “Hey, go check with your homeopath or go check with …”

Lauren: Well, you said to me, “Hey, have your iodine and your potassium checked.” Which I’m actually getting checked in my next blood test.

Karen: Oh, wonderful!

Lauren: It’s so easy just to add these things on to labs, if you’re already getting labs done — particularly for someone with chronic illness and you’re going to the doctor frequently and getting these tests. No harm, no foul, to just add a little extra on. Now, can you give us some examples or anecdotes, aside from what I just mentioned about iodine and potassium … Some examples of how you’re seeing that mind-body connection being restored in your work? Is there anything that really stands out for you?

Karen: Well, right now, I see most people suffering from anxiety. And the more I see this — it’s been shown to me and told to me — that it’s really a desire for clarity, which is third-eye. So that means people can see it and don’t know how to attain it. Or people see it, and they’re terrified of it.

So, to relax in gifts being shown to us, to reinforce feelings of infinite possibility, infinite resource, infinite time management … that it’s possible.

Lauren: That the universe provides, that’s what you’re saying?

Karen: Yes, but we are co-creating.

We’re not separate from the universe. So Dr. Usui says that one must elevate consciousness before healing can begin. So to see really the big picture — ‘Oh, we’re not doing this alone, we’re not being punished, we’re not letting anyone down.’ Those old narratives are no longer serving many, many, many people. And that is creating anxiety.

And I also like to know, of course, media can be …

Lauren: And you have a background in that, don’t you? You came from TV news and broadcasting … to Reiki.

Karen: Yes, I was one of them!

Lauren: So you know!

Karen Felice RMT

Karen: I do know. And I loved it. I was a video editor for ABC News and NBC News for 24 years.

Lauren: You’ve really lived in …

Karen: In both worlds. But I did join it because I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to help educate people how to be kind to one another. And news has that capability, but the minute it went 24 hours there’s a lot to fill. So it’s a practice to be very, very centered with the chaos around. And so I know that formula of fear and all that, I’m not saying we are swamped with it.

But as energetic beings, we need a filter when we are shown death, and we’re shown fear, and it’s scary.

Lauren: And it’s interesting … I’ll share from my own experience working with you … I have a therapist and I work on my anxieties with her and I do that in that realm. But then I find that the way in which it affects my physical being is one in which I’m able to come into a session with you … and I might walk in feeling a lot of anxiety … particularly with regard to health, especially with these invisible conditions you go through so much where your body’s in fight or flight, trying to figure out what’s going on, and that sends your thinking patterns into fight or flight … to be able to center oneself in what becomes, for me, a very meditative practice, and doesn’t in any way, as you say, interfere with any kind of spirituality or religion or, any of the work I’ve been doing with Western and integrative health practitioners. So, for me, it has really enhanced my experience of my physical body and being able to find that compassion. Speaking of which, you actually have just written a beautiful book all about compassion! I’m actually using it as a meditation companion.

Karen: Great. That’s perfect!

Lauren: It’s called Compassion Speaks. Tell us a little bit about how that came to be.

Karen: Because you are familiar with my sessions, you know that I do get a lot of intuitive messages. So this book, Compassion Speaks, is intuitively received messages about compassion. So in December of 2017, I was driving back from near Santa Cruz where I see clients up there, and I was on the 101 heading back to Los Angeles, and the fires were really raging in Ojai.  So I had on very, very powerful prayers and chants to the Divine Mother and asking the healing to be sent to the land and to the sentient beings being affected by this fire. It’s a long drive and I was really in this state for a while, and then a sign off on my left said STATE PRISON. It caught my eye, and then … whoom, the first message of compassion came to me and it said,

“Send compassion to the gaps of the forgotten.”

And I started shaking. This was beyond me. These messages came through, and I saved them on Siri (laughs) as best as I could. And then from Notes it went into Word, and then I had it formatted into a little 6 x 6 book with maybe three or four sentences on a page. And I continued this meditation process for about three months. And that was the intention: that these function as re-sets to quiet our mind and create from a place of compassion. Now, my first meditation teacher was Deepak Chopra in 2007.

Lauren: That’s not too shabby! (laughs)

Karen: (laughs) Not too bad.

I’m really grateful because he did save my life in giving me that skill of meditation, and he told me turn off the news. Start telling a better story. So I do have boundaries. I’m not totally turned off with what’s going on in this world. But I’m choosing to be in my heart.

I don’t have the news on when I’m preparing food. I don’t have it on in the car. I don’t have it on while I’m eating. It’s a container. And containers really, really help. So he was the first one who said, in our class, “I could compliment you; you feel good. I could insult you; you feel bad. But a real Buddha feels neither.” So I’m still sitting with that. (laughs)

Lauren: Yeah, I’m going to be sitting with that one for a while!

Karen: So that neutrality … all I understand is that Buddha was a teacher of compassion. And this is how I resonate with compassion. And this book is not quoting great masters.

Lauren: (laughs) Unless we consider you to be a great Master!

Karen: Well, a Master Teacher. But thank you! Even in reformatting the book to get it on Kindle and Amazon … and I could get in a little technology bog myself … I was reading these, and I said, ‘Wow, I don’t remember writing them. I can’t believe I wrote them.’ And they were re-balancing me as well. Especially, a good one was Compassion dispels fear.

Lauren: That’s beautiful. And it’s something that comes up so often in my interviews … learning self-compassion. Not just compassion for the self, but also compassion for those around us. I think that those of us who live in this world of illness, who live with different medical conditions that can be felt and not necessarily seen, in particular … it can be a real struggle. And being able to address that with the heart and the mind is such an important practice. And that’s where I found your book … I just flip it open, and do my meditation, and use whichever particular passage has caught my attention, as a guide.

Karen: That’s how easy it is.

Lauren: It’s really that easy. It’s idiot-proof. (laughs)

Karen: It’s an easy read with profound results. But there’s feeling to it. Thank you!

Lauren: And now I’m wondering, because we’ve mentioned meditation a couple of times now as well as Reiki … are there any other healing practices that you would recommend that patients or clients work with toward regularity, in order to improve the mind-body connection? Are there other modalities that you subscribe to?

Karen: Well, definitely meditate. I meditate every day now, for 11 years … and to do it in a place without judgment. If I’m distracted or can’t settle or my mind is racing, I gently come back. I do have a mantra. Some people do breath work. So I know, as I said, Deepak was my first teacher and he had us, as a class, sign a contract that we would meditate for 30 minutes a day for 30 days to establish a practice.

But [Deepak Chopra] feels 30 minutes [of meditation] is equivalent to eight hours’ rest and restoration of the body.

Lauren: Sign me up!

Karen: I do really feel that clean, high vibrational foods are necessary.

Lauren: When you say high vibrational, what do you mean?

Karen: I mean real food, not wasted calories.

And to cook with intent of receiving nutrients and nourishment. Watch your thoughts as you’re preparing food. It will be good either to have really beautiful meditative music on. Or, if you don’t have a mantra, one that I love to re-set right away is: I’m grateful, grateful, grateful, grateful. And to keep the vibration high, of the food that’s going into your body. So, not be mad at your body and not be mad at yourself.

Lauren: Because when we get sick and we get a diagnosis, the first thought is, ‘Oh God, it’s the end of the world.’ But it’s also, ‘Oh God, there’s a name for this.’ So you’re living between these two extremes of total joy and total despair, and then being able to find these paths to health … I think a lot of us end up having to change our diet. So being able to approach it, not just from the mechanics of ‘I’ve gotta chop these vegetables and make this stuff; I have no time’ … but being able to go, ‘I’m going to make the time, because it’s something I need to do to nourish myself and to allow my body to heal.’ To look at it from that place of compassion.

Karen: It is important to have the compassion, and in what you just said I heard that the greatest way, instead of ‘I’m going to make the time’ … those present a struggle. So to simply shift ‘I need to’ to: ‘Wow, I get to.’

So it’s creating joy in the moment as well. There are many teachers, too, that encourage joy and gratitude and love as the impetus to not only create the life you want but also really being present with a whole new vibration.

So, I think I’ve talked to you before about the opposite game?

Lauren: It’s one of my favorite games to play!

Karen: Right?! This came in in the time when I was in my last production job and really hated it … and was really stressed. So I was walking around repeating, ‘I’m exhausted, I’m exhausted, I’m exhausted.’

Lauren: And what good does that do anyone, right?

Karen:Well, it can break down the body; it is taxing the immune system when we’re in that fight or flight mode. And I also knew minimal of law of attraction. Oh, I’m keeping that vibration alive. And to keep that alive, I’m attracting everything that keeps it alive — the long hours, the underpaid, under-appreciated. Even though all that lesson meant was, I needed to appreciate me.

So to shift that, I came into my heart — because I feel the heart chakra is where we transmute and shift energy. And so I asked: What is the opposite? So this is the opposite game. What is the opposite of exhaustion? And the first words you hear … for me I heard: You’re healthy. Okay. Well, in the beginning I did not believe I was healthy. So belief systems are a whole ‘nother layer.

Lauren: Well, this is where ‘fake it till you make it’ can sometimes really help you, right? And not even looking at it as faking it. To be able to say to myself, ‘I’m healthy’ … even if all the lab work says I’m not, maybe I can convince myself and maybe it will help my body shift.

Karen: Well, it’s not even a maybe. I feel that the body expands and relaxes into that vibration of ‘health versus exhaustion.’ It is that simple. It’s more than fake …

Lauren: Oh yeah, it’s very real.

Karen: But what’s interesting, too, is it had me look at belief systems, and I’ve heard it say, too, that belief systems are BS. (laughs) And to really go beyond that and empower ourselves in our own health journey.

So even with a diagnosis, it’s a compass, it’s a gauge … and it’s not an end-all sentence. I mean when I hear a blanket diagnosis of Epstein-Barr, it’s the same as autism: It’s category, yes. But we are so unique within it.

Lauren: So essentially what you’re saying is that everyone’s experience is going to be different and unique.

Karen: Correct. But I don’t want people to see this as a blanket end-all that health is not attainable.

Lauren: I really like that because it is about shifting the way that you perceive it. And going, ‘I can, I can be healthy.’

Karen: Yes. And this complements. I’m not saying, be delusional.  You know, really …  if your foot is broken.

Lauren: We’re not off with the fairies here! (laughs) We’re still being sensible; if your foot’s broken, it will heal. But I think the point here is, really, having faith in the healing. Having faith in oneself and faith and compassion for the world around us.

Karen: Now here’s another … and I really walk the walk, I do … because I see a lot of high-vibrational clients as well and and I appreciate that they can see within me where I’m at. But one thing I did as a practice, when I had my teeth cleaned … it was a deep cleaning and she said, ‘It’s going to hurt’ and she was doing the shots …so already there’s that highway …

Lauren: The fear highway!

Karen: The fear highway! But I sat there for 45 minutes telling myself, telling my gums, telling my nerves and all the sensations … ‘I love you, I love you, I love you. I love you.’ I sat there for 45 minutes repeating that, and it really expedited my healing — even after the novocaine wore off.

Lauren: Well, I think there have been studies with plants — and students have done this in classrooms, where they’ve had two plants, exactly the same plant. And one plant they’ve said really lovely things to … “I love you. You’re beautiful. You look great today.” And the other plant, they’ll say horrible things to: “You’re not healthy. You’re short. You’re not going to be good enough.” And literally, the one that they tell nice things to grows more, and more healthfully than the one that’s told negative things. So it’s amazing how those messages — whether we’re telling them to ourselves or others are saying them to us — can really affect our health and our growth. Well, we’re coming to the end of this wonderful interview, and I’m really hoping that people listening to this interview will consider adding Reiki into their holistic healing methodologies or modalities that they’re using, and find a great practitioner near them. And if you’re in LA, of course Karen is here!

Karen: Thank you.

Lauren: But I like to end the episodes, as everyone probably knows at this point, with some Top Three Lists. And the first one that I like to ask is: What are your top three tips for someone who suspects they might have something off — invisible or not? What would you recommend to someone who looks like they might be going into a health crisis — be it anxiety, or physical? What would you do in that kind of situation? I know we’ve talked about meditation quite a bit. And that’s always on the list, right?

Karen: Yes, meditation and diet and intention.

Again, it’s not a blanket perception … but I would, number one, encourage people to be kind to themselves. And if they feel a medical diagnosis is needed, to do so … to get a hormonal check and blood panels … and, really to encourage them to find a meditation program.

There are so many great teachers that offer online.

Lauren: Apps…and Deepak!

Karen: Yes. So even to do six minutes a day of meditation.

Lauren: Makes a huge difference. I mean, there’s science behind this that it changes the way your brain’s wired, to regularly meditate.

Karen: Yes, that’s really important.

Lauren: And the other Top Three List is more indulgent. What would your top three indulgences, guilty pleasures, comfort activities be? Say that you are starting to get sick … what are the three things that you would go to, to make you feel better? Or to just give yourself a nice time?

Karen: Well, my real indulgence … I love to go to the spa, and do sauna and salt bath or salt room and massage. So that’s really good. I also enjoy sound baths. I am very specific as to going to healers. I limit that because I’m very selective of who’s in my energy. And I love to go to the gym and work out. Or even just stretch. And if I’m watching TV or Netflix, I have my little free weights right with me and I’m just gently, gently stretching my body with five-pound weights. So that’s what I like to do. And of course, I love my doggie and I go for walks with her.

Lauren: Shayna, she’s great. And she’s someone who’s been through quite a little healing journey herself.

Karen: Yes, and she’s in my room with the sessions and she offers a lot of of healing for people as well.

Lauren: She does. And she’s a great example of healing, aside from offering her own healing. Well, Karen, thank you so much. If anyone is looking for you, they can find you on Instagram at @kfelice. And then on KarenFelice.com. And we’ll post links to your book as well so people can check out Compassion Speaks. Thank you so much for joining us today; this was so lovely!

Karen: You’re the best, Lauren!

Lauren Freedman Uninvisible Karen Felice RMT

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